Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Buzz Aldrin Calls for International Cooperation on Space Exploration

Buzz Aldrin presents "Get Your Ass to Mars" T-shirt during his visit to South Korea. Photo Credit: Buzz Aldrin/Facebook

Buzz Aldrin sees the inevitable need of international cooperation when it comes to space travel. The second man to set foot on the moon, called on Monday, Sept. 21, for joint efforts to develop future moon and Mars missions. He is convinced that the U.S. should help China, India and South Korea in achieving their space exploration goals for the sake of humanity.

“America should be able to help China, not compete with, join the ambitious goal for Mars,” Aldrin said during a lecture at the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

He emphasized the importance of collaboration not only on a national level but also on an individual level for great advancements in space exploration.

“When people work together, you can sometimes accomplish the impossible. Apollo (mission) could never have happened without the cooperation in efforts of many people working together for a shared goal,” he said.

Aldrin, the Apollo 11 mission crew member, is now a strong advocate of sending humans to Mars. He lately drew the public’s attention by wearing a T-shirt proclaiming "Get Your Ass to Mars", that quickly went viral and the hashtag #GYATM that became almost an internet slogan for enthusiastic supporters of a manned mission to the Red Planet. The moonwalker is also dedicated to spark children’s interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) through his ShareSpace Foundation.

On Monday, he encouraged over a hundred students studying astronomy that gathered in the auditorium, saying “by dreaming big, you can accomplish impossible things.”

“I received quite a warm welcome upon arriving in Seoul! Nice to see young aerospace enthusiasts,” Aldrin tweeted.

Coming back to the space exploration issues, Aldrin emphasized that the U.S. could help South Korea and India to develop their space programs.

“America could help countries like South Korea and India (with space exploration) because America does not need to spend money for what they need, such as designing the landers,” he noted.

South Korea plans to launch its lunar orbiter and a moon probe by 2020. For 2016, about $8.5 million has been allocated for the mission.

India is more advanced when it comes to space exploration, having successfully sent its homegrown orbiter to Mars, which arrived at the Red Planet a year ago and is still operational. India has also put a spacecraft in a lunar orbit in 2008. The country is currently working on a second moon mission and is developing its human spaceflight program.

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